Through the generosity of my friends, family and Ayrshire Yoga students I was very privileged to be able to donate £1230 to the Mindfulness Pre-School Sri Lanka. Gifts of toys, crayons and colouring books are being shipped out.
On arrival of the visit on 7th March 2018, we were given a very warm welcome from the children. They had formed a bond, playing the instruments bought by some of the donated money.
They were dressed in their mindfulness school uniforms and 2 of the children chosen to carry a Scottish flag and a Sri Lankan flag.
I felt overwhelmed and very emotional as we were then guided into the school where the children gave a wonderful show of yoga and dance.
The staff pointed out where this much needed money would make a big difference to the safety for the children and help in their education.
The children were happy and smiling with one little girl with the most beautiful big brown eyes holding my hand throughout the presentation. We were then invited to have a cup of tea and to eat “hoppers” which were delicious.
Knowing the difference this makes to the children who are not as privileged as our own is so worthwhile.
I want to thank everyone who attended the workshops, weekly yoga classes. Their kindness and generosity of the gifts.
“God dropped a pearl in the ocean and made Sri Lanka.”
Maureen F Aitken
In November we went on a trip to Sri Lanka and Bhante was kind enough to arrange a visit to the Mindful Kids pre school centre in the village of Bellana where his temple is and where he trained to be a monk.
It was the most fantastic first day in the wonderful country of Sri Lanka. The centre arranged for the children to perform a dance concert to coincide with our visit. We were greeted on our arrival in spectacular fashion, with the children all dressed up in beautiful traditional outfits and the parents there to support them. We had brought a Scottish flag with us which they swiftly put on a stick to be part of the ceremony!
We then took part in the ritual of lighting of the oil lamps together with others from the village.
The concert was exceptional - a mix of Sri Lankan and western songs and dances and even a yoga performance. I was most impressed by the lack of direction that the children needed! They were aged between 4 and 6 and there was no teacher in sight to show them the moves!
The classrooms were also really inspiring places to be. Clearly a big focus of the centre is on creativity and the staff take great pride in using the children’s creations to decorate the room and celebrate their hard work.
We were able to see how the fund-raising in Glasgow is making a difference to the lives not only of the children themselves, but also to the rest of their families. There was a real sense of community about the event.
The kindness of the staff and friends at the centre was inspiring. We were so well looked after, taken to meet the head monk in Bhante’s temple, and for our first (of many!) king coconuts!
The rest of our trip was just as good and the highlights were the amazing people we met, many through Bhante’s connections, and the tranquility of the various temples we visited.
In a temple just outside of Kandy we met Ariyawansa Thero, who, in discussing that we can all make a difference to the problems we see in the world in our own ways, inspired us to start up our own social enterprise with the aim of reducing plastic waste and pollution.
What an inspiring trip, but you don’t really need to go half way across the world to be inspired. I always leave a Glasgow Mindfulness Centre retreat or class, with just that bit more clarity about my place in the world. Is that not what we’re all searching for?